Jon, your excerpted quote of Robert Greene’s, “Greene’s Groatsworth of Wit,” was a poisoned arrow directed at Will Shakspear, the actor, for pretending to be the playwrite. Greene was derogating the actor while honoring the true playwrite, Edward De Vere, the Duke of Oxford. Greene was something of sycophant to the Duke, admiring his multifaceted talents. So, the “ jack of all trades” insult may have begun at that time but it’s use had an entirely different meaning from the pen of Greene than modernists commonly attribute to him. In effect, the quote had little to with being a jack of all trades as much as putting an upstart in his place while affirming the identity of the real Shakespeare : Edward De Vere.